Both of Maine’s U.S. House members said Wednesday they will vote to move forward with public hearings on impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Maine Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree

“While I disagreed with the initial decision to open the impeachment inquiry, it is clear that the investigation has confirmed information contained in the whistleblower complaint,” said 2nd District Rep. Jared Golden in a prepared statement. “For the good of our country and the public’s understanding of the process, this investigation should no longer continue solely in a closed setting.”

Democratic 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree also said she would vote for the proceedings to move forward.

“The evidence that has already been made public draws a picture of a President who believes he is above the law and has put his personal political and financial gain above the nation’s interests,” Pingree said in a prepared statement. “The gravity of the committees’ findings should be aired in open hearings so that Americans can hear the sworn testimony of witnesses and fully understand the evidence upon which the articles of impeachment would be drafted.”

The House is expected to vote on public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee in a roll-call vote Thursday.

That vote will be the first difficult one for House lawmakers as they wrestle over whether to move forward toward an impeachment trial of the president before the U.S. Senate.


The vote will be on a resolution to begin holding formal public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee. Attorneys for the president would be allowed to cross-examine witnesses before the committee in the president’s defense.

Among other things, Congress is investigating whether Trump committed an impeachable offense when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

For Golden, the statement marks a shift from his previous stance on the inquiry, which was mostly non-committal.

Golden, who won the nation’s first ranked-choice congressional race in 2018 against incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin, has frustrated both conservatives and liberals by refusing to say whether he believes the president broke any laws or jeopardized national security with his requests for help from foreign governments in investigating political rivals.

Trump won Golden’s district in 2016, besting Hillary Clinton by 10 percentage points and capturing one of the state’s four Electoral College votes in the process. Golden, a combat veteran of the Marine Corps, has since walked a fine political line trying to maintain support of liberal Democrats while also keeping moderate Republican and conservative-leaning independent voters in his camp.

He is among about a dozen Democrats in Congress who hold seats in districts the president won by six points or more. Republicans have tried to pressure them to vote against approval of any impeachment articles considered by the U.S. House.


In Maine, at least three Republicans are vying to challenge Golden for his seat in 2020, including Eric Brakey, a former state senator from Auburn; Dale Crafts, a former state representative from Lisbon and Adrienne Bennett, the press secretary for former Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Bennett recently relocated to Bangor.

Bennett was quick to condemn Golden’s decision Wednesday.

“Looks like he received the order to fall in line,” Bennett tweeted just minutes after Golden announced he would vote for public hearings on impeachment.

The National Republican Congressional Committee also attacked Golden in a statement by its national press secretary, Michael McAdams.

“Jared Golden’s decision to back impeachment will be the nail in his political career’s coffin,” McAdam said.

Earlier this month Trump supporters staged a rally outside Golden’s district office in Lewiston, a city that supported Clinton in 2016 by 1,000 votes, urging him to resist further impeachment proceedings against the president.

But liberal activists were quick to praise Golden for his decision.

“It is now up to members of the House and Senate to decide if it’s acceptable for a president to use the withdrawal of military aid to pressure a foreign government to investigate a political rival,” Marie Follayttar, director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, said in a prepared statement.

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